Lagos – In what experts described as a worrisome development, Nigeria’s total domestic and foreign debt stocks as at June 30 stood at about $15.05 billion and N14.06 trillion, respectively, or N19.52 trillion, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.
A review of the total foreign debt profile of the federal and the 36 states governments and the FCT, according to the statistics agency, also shows a continuous rise since the coming of the present administration, from $10.718 billion in 2015, to $11.406 billion in 2016 and $15.047 billion in 2017.
Out of the current total figure of $15.047 billion, the Federal Government accounts for $11.106 billion, or about 74 percent, while the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) owe about $3.94 billion, or 26 percent.
The federal and state governments’ shares of the debt stock grew from $7.349 billion and $3.369 billion in 2015, to $7.84 billion and $3.568 billion in 2016, and $3.94 billion and $11.106 billion in 2017, respectively.
The NBS gave further disaggregation of the country’s foreign debt to include $9.67 billion as multilateral debt; $218.25 million as bilateral (AFD) and $5.15 billion from the Exim Bank of China credit to the Federal Government.
Details of the debt figures show that the domestic debts figures of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT have continued to grow since 2015 under the present administration.
From about N2.503 trillion in 2015, the NBS data showed the figure rose to N2.959 trillion in 2016 before reaching the latest point of N3.001 trillion in 2017.
According to the statistics agency, out of the total of N14.017 trillion national debt stock, the Federal Government accounts for about N11.058 trillion, or 78.66 percent, against about N2.959 trillion, or 21.34 percent by all the states and the FCT.
Further breakdown of the Federal Government domestic debt stock by instruments shows that about N7.56 trillion, or 68.41 percent were in bonds; N3.28 trillion, or 29.64 percent in treasury bills, while N215.99 million, or 1.95 percent went into treasury bonds.
Although the NBS did not provide the Federal Government domestic debt figures for 2015, figures obtained from the Debt Management Office (DMO) website on Tuesday showed that total domestic debt by instruments as at December 2015 stood at N8.836 trillion.
This consisted Federal Government bonds N5.808 trillion, or 65.73 percent; Nigerian treasury bills, N2.773 trillion, or 31.38 percent, and treasury bonds of N255.99 billion, or 2.90 percent.
Among the 36 states and the FCT, Lagos recorded the highest foreign debt profile, accounting for about 37 percent of the states’ foreign debts, followed by Kaduna (six percent), Edo (five percent), Cross River (four percent) and Ogun (three percent).
On the domestic front, Lagos again took the lead, with the highest domestic debt profile among its colleagues and the FCT, accounting for about 10.39 percent of the total figure, followed by Delta (8.04 percent), Akwa Ibom (5.18 percent), FCT (5.09 percent) and Osun (4.90 percent).
In a text message to INDEPENDENT, Cyril Ampka, and Abuja-based economist, described the country’s debt profile as worrisome.
“This is worrisome at a time like this when the country was trying to consolidate on its gains from recovering from economic recession”.
Rasheed Alao, Head of Department of Economics, Adeyemi University of Education, Ondo, was not surprised at the development as, according to him, “It has become a routine to borrow locally and internationally”.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (business)